Friday, April 15, 2011

Best Purse Ever!!

I bought this purse a year ago at some small store in the mall. I adore it! I switch back and forth between this purse and whatever ‘new’ purse I’ve sewn up. It never fails though, no matter how happy I am with a new purse, or one I’ve sewn I always go back to this one.
I love that it goes over the head and one shoulder. I love that it sits on my hip and is out of the way. I love that I can easily reach into it for my cell phone, wallet or a pen without having to take it off my arm and have it in front of me. Really, it’s kinda weird how much I love this bag!
But it was starting to come apart at the top of the strap and I know I could have fixed it, but I wanted to see if I could make a purse just like it but in a fabric that was more ‘me’.
So I, sadly, one night, took out my seam ripper and started taking apart the best purse in the world. I did it carefully so I could piece it back together if my attempts didn’t pan out.
I’m happy to report that after countless hours and many, many stupid oversights I’ve mastered how to make this purse and even come up with a pattern to share with all of you.
Best purse ever pattern
Start with your fabric folded, right sides together. (If you’re iffy about cutting into your fabric go ahead and grab some pattern paper or newspaper and draw it out there first, no one will ever know!)
Now, starting at the bottom of the fold measure up 47’’. Make a mark with a fabric pencil or even a stick pin. Measure over towards that mark 1 1/2’’.
Move back down to the bottom of your fabric. Again, starting at the fold, measure over (towards the right side) 7 1/2’’. Make another mark.
Now measure up from that mark 14’’ and 7 1/2’’ across. This becomes the actually purse part of the purse!
Go back up to the top, where you made a mark 1 1/2’’  over from the fold. Starting at this mark, measure DOWN 23’’ and make another mark. This becomes your over-the-should strap.
Now to the tricky curve part. You want to start your curve on the last mark you made for the strap and you want it to end at the last mark you made at the top of the actually bag part of the purse. Make sense? Look at the picture, the red arrows are for clarification. It’s much harder writing out how to make a pattern than I ever thought! Curve in as much or as little as you like as long as your starting and stopping points start and end where they are suppose to.
Now you’re ready to cut your fabric.
With the pattern above you’ll need to cut:
2 pieces of outer fabric
2 pieces of inner fabric.
I wanted more strength in my straps then what my original purse had so I cut out two strips of interfacing that measure 1’’ by 20’’. It’s optional.
Pay no attention to my inner fabric. Turns out I didn’t buy enough of the pretty blue fabric to make the straps so I went with a piece together look for the inside.  On to assembly. It’s much easier than reading my cutting out instructions above. Smile Really!
Start by applying the interfacing to the middle part of the outer fabric straps. DSCN1562
Next: Turn in ALL the edges (except for the 14’’ short sides of the bag part, leave those alone) of both pieces of outer fabric and inner fabric about 1/4’’ and press with a hot iron.
With right sides together, place the outer fabric on top of the inner fabric and pin in place. Sew the 14’’ short sides of the bag together. Turn right side out. Do the same to the lining fabric you want for the inside of the purse.
You should have the outer fabric facing up, right side up. If you look inside the bag you should see the right side of the inner fabric. Now you have two seams and normally you would leave these seams to the sides of the purse. But with this Best Purse Ever you’re going to move the seams to the middle of the bag, like so. (For the outer fabric and lining fabric too. Slip the lining fabric inside the outer fabric, wrong sides together.

Still with me? Good. Halfway there.
Remember all that ironing we did for all the outer edges? Place wrong sides together of the outer fabric and the inner fabric. Pin in place carefully then sew together, CAREFULLY! Do NOT sew the two tops of the straps though, leave it open OR the very bottom of the bag.
This is a picture of the inside of the bag up towards the strap on one side. Now for the bottom hem of the bag. Fold the outer fabric up out of the way for a second. Working with the lining fabric fold both edges a little over the right side of the fabric. It’s hard to see in this picture, but you can see the white edge on the bottom right of the picture where I folded this up. Press in place.  DSCN1582 
Now move the outer fabric back down in place and fold this under, with the lining fabric caught in e of the folds of the outer fabric. See how the blue/white fabric is tucked inside the fold of the top outer fabric?
Pin the folded fabric sandwich in place and sew a seam across to hold in place. You might want to sew over this twice since the bulk of your purse contents will be held inside by this seam.
Now for the top of the straps that we left open. Fold the rough edges inside each strap, then lay one strap over the other strap just enough to sew a seam down over the overlap.
Now using your outer fabric, cut a rectangle about 4’’ by 1 1/2’’. Turn in all the edges, press and sew in place.

Fold this rectangle around the top seam you just sewed into the strap.
Now sew in place, you can sew this into the strap it’s self or just sew the rectangle closed, either way. I didn’t want it sewn into place because I didn’t want a stitch line to be seen on the top of the strap. But it’s your choice.
Now go out and enjoy the Best Purse Ever and send me a link or post a comment if you make one yourself so I can see how great it turned out. Smile

"   Sunburnt Cow Handmade Shop  

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